Noise Floor is an experimental/noise collaboration between myself and Ronny Wærnes. Ronny messaged me early in the month asking if I wanted to work together on some tracks and this is the result.
So last night, I randomly started singing songs from the Rocky Horror Picture Show to myself as I was taking out the trash. Then I had the crazy idea of doing a Rocky Horror Picture Show cover album (sort of like the Rocky Horror Punk Rock Show, except less crappy) starring RPM artists. The requirement here is, of course, having enough musicians to contribute, and having the impetus to get it done in the midst of either a) RPM or b) post-RPM burnout.
I'm a former trannie (not in sexual orientation but in cast member in a RHPS cast), so Rocky Horror is still -- even 20 years later -- sort of in my blood & I'd love to work with some other trannies and/or Rocky cast members (or Rocky virgins) on a Rocky album. I can hear Geoff from the Raygun Girls already in the version in my head...
Blind Chaos is happening again for 2013. I've decided not to do my own RPM album and instead focus on BC and collaborations, therefore I'll have a bit more time to spend on this, which is, you know, yay. First off, introductions...
What is 'Blind Chaos'
Blind Chaos is an experimental music project for RPM that was first conjured up in 2009 by David Marcouillier. The theory goes: get a bunch of musicians, play something for 35 minutes, mash it all together, DON'T LISTEN TO THE OTHER PARTS. One person is selected to have the glorious (and sometimes daunting) duty of mixing it all together. The final piece is submitted as Blind Chaos' RPM Challenge submission.
For 2013, I'd like to do something different -- somewhat along the lines of some of the things we did in the brief-lived Blind Chaos post-RPM forum I started a couple years ago.
Each musician can submit either one, continuous, 35 minute track OR 7 sequential 5 minute tracks.
My idea is that as long as at least one person does the separate tracks (which can be me, if no one else chooses to go this route) this will create Blind Chaos in movements, which might be interesting. Blind Chaos tends to be in movements anyway, but this way, if a couple people are doing 5 minute tracks, they'll be more synced with each other.
Tracks must be labeled as follows:
blind chaos - <musician, as you want to be listed on the album> - <instrument, as you want it to appear on the album> - <track number, if multiple tracks>
blind chaos - jazzsequence - Audiocube & synthesizers - 1
Where do I upload when I'm done?
Tracks must be uploaded to the Blind Chaos group dropbox on Soundcloud.
Can I submit multiple tracks that aren't exactly 5 minutes?
As long as they are in increments of 5 minutes, yes. E.g. three 10 minute tracks and one 5 minute track == ok. Five 7 minute tracks == not ok (instead you could just make a single 35 minute track or cut 2 minutes off of each of those and make that into a single 10 minute track).
Edit: It should also be noted that moments of silence are okay!!! (as long as it's not, you know 35 minutes of silence. In that case, we can't really put your name on it, can we?) In fact, having lulls in your tracks give other musicians an opportunity to "solo" (sort of).
Edit 2: Also, I should point out that you don't need to be 5 / 35 minutes exactly, necessarily, as long as it's pretty close and we have enough material, in total, for 35 minutes.
The deadline for RPM submissions is Friday, February 22.
Got it? Great. Post any comments or questions in the blind chaos thread.
Here's the final mix of my album, The Signal, that will be mailed in to RPM HQ. They may not be the final versions ever, but they're the final versions for the challenge.The Signal (RPM 2012) by jazzsequence
I've been listening to the songs this morning after having finished mastering my last track. I'm happy enough with it that I'm not going to futz with it for a few days (though I just discovered the wonder that is the Limiter -- how have I gone so long without finding these essential tools?), and I spent part of today arranging the tracks that blend into each other in Ableton so they crossfade effectively (was previously using blind luck to get them to match up -- actually lining them up in Ableton and exporting each song from a single Ableton project works a lot better). After starting out kind of frustrated about this project, I'm pretty happy with it overall. I still feel like it isn't as inspired as last year's album, but I chalk that up to the subject matter being more abstract and not being something that I can really feel in the same way that I felt some of the songs off that album. Which, you know, is a good lesson to learn, really.
Here's the tracklist. I will be updating the songs on SoundCloud soon and post these versions to preview on Bandcamp (but I'm not actually going to release the Bandcamp album until I've given it time to settle and I've gotten some feedback about the tracks so I can fix anything that needs fixing first). Some of the titles got renamed from the original working titles (notably Frequencies, The Buzzer and The Space Between). I'm still considering renaming "cold" to something else, but I haven't decided what yet.
02 The Buzzer
03 Coded Messages
04 The Space Between
05 Collaborative Analysis
07 Transmission Intercepted
Already met the goal but wanted to do one more. This one isn't in the player because I encoded it with LAME VBR 0 (~320kbps) and since it's 11 minutes long the file was too big. Oh well. Enjoy it in all it's noisy glory.Transmission Intercepted [DEMO] by jazzsequence
is powered by audio palette (several takes layered on top of each other in ableton and re-mixed with the original loops at the end). I will have a demo video of the app on YouTube soon. My only wish is it took more than 25mb worth of loops, but I guess I could try mp3s and see what it does (the faq says that .wav and .aiff are the only formats they've tested so other formats might possibly work...).
this gets me past 35 minutes so officially, i'm done, but i might try to crank out one more track this weekend. doing a track for Lin3 Hiss made me want to do something with my bass run through a million distortion effects and destroyed beyond all recognition with delay and loops, so I might go off track and throw something together with that idea.Collaborative Analysis [DEMO] by jazzsequence
Finished the demo for the 5th track for this year's RPM album tonight. That leaves 4 minutes to make the cutoff, anything else is bonus. Pretty happy with this, though it gets too busy, I think. Needs to be cleaned up, but that's where I plan on pulling out the cubes anyway. I discovered this today and downloaded the app. Might well end up being the premise for the last (required) track for the album.
Here's my new song and a demo of Audio Palette.
I guess the Skinny Puppy is paying off...
The Audiocube makes a return in this track. I'm not sure about that track list yet, but this is intended to go after the industrial noise and 30 seconds of absolute silence of "Coded Messages". In terms of time, I've only got 10 minutes to go to complete the challenge.
This one melted my face off. Seriously. It's (almost) entirely made of instruments from shortwave radio samples. The drum kit is made from various radio recordings of different kinds as well as a kick that came from a subway door closing. The result is something very mechanical that makes (IMO) an awesome industrial song.Coded Messages [DEMO] by jazzsequence
Lately I've been listening to a lot of Skinny Puppy (and related side-projects) for inspiration. Since a lot of this album consists of field recordings from shortwave radio, I've decided to continue in the vein of the first track I recorded where I started creating instruments out of samples. I grabbed a metric shit-ton of shortwave recordings this morning and I've cut them up into pieces for the purpose of creating new intruments and drum racks out of them. I will start working with these samples this weekend and see where that goes...
...but I still like my Soundcloud player better.
No time to blog and no availability to vlog, just a quick post with my track 1.Frequencies [demo] by jazzsequence
The short description is that the album is going to be about UVB-76 -- a Russian shortwave frequency that broadcasts a buzzing pattern 24/7 and has been doing so since the Cold War. The tagline is that it is a project "about communication, technology, conspiracy theories and community."
I'll probably be hitting freesound.org again this year, as well as using samples of UVB-76 from uvb-76.net. Stems of the songs will eventually wind up on ccmixter.org.
As the theory is that this is an album at least partially about community -- in particular, the community of listeners around the world that tune in and contribute their theories or resources to identify and demystify the UVB-76 signal -- I want to leave my RPM project open-ended for anyone to contribute noise, lyrics, vocals, instruments, words, whatever as long as it's somewhat relevant to the subject matter. Consider this an open invitation starting now. Message me or catch me on Twitter if you're interested.
Posted this to YouTube a few days ago. Thought I'd share with y'all as the pre-RPM stuff gets started...
I have my next RPM album planned. It's called The Signal. I would go into detail about it here, but, instead, I'll let my Kickstarter video do that instead.
Help spread the word about The Signal or become a backer. The album will happen regardless, but it will be so much more awesome with these cubes. Be sure and check the Kickstarter page for project updates and more AudioCubes information.
My stuff is up in the jukebox. That pretty much officially closes RPM for me. There's still a lot of music I need to listen to and I want to catch up on the reviews thread that I missed the last half of. There was a ton of good music this year -- I started burning a CD-R with the stuff I found that I really liked and realized I was going to need more than one. Probably more than two. I suppose, really, there's a ton of good music every year, you just need to know where/how to look.
Anyway, in the off chance that someone thinks my music is among the good music this year, here's the requisite jukebox link, as well as my bandcamp page where you can download all the songs (payment optional, but welcomed!)
You can listen to my completed album at:
What I learned about making music for the RPM Challenge this week.
Just posted song 6. As I mentioned in my video post the other day, this was largely made up of leitmotifs that I already had, so it was pretty easy to build. I did add a couple new tracks and changed the instruments on probably the majority of the tracks and added a couple drum loops. I'm pretty happy with it, actually, it's got an insane, driving beat that was making me pump my fist like some euro-raver when I was doing the mix.
Last night I was wondering -- since I haven't listened to the album straight through -- what the whole album is going to sound like together. I was worried that it would be too much of the same stuff, since I'm reusing leitmotifs. Then again, it's a soundtrack, so there's supposed to be musical themes that get repeated. It's not a rock album, where every track is different and a potential pop hit, it's more something that should be taken as a whole.
The next track to work on is the sex scene. I've both been looking forward to writing this track and also dreading it. I'm interested in giving it a go, but I want to do it justice without being cliche...
I decided this morning I wanted to do a cover of "White Light White Heat". It's not really part of my RPM project at all, it just sounded fun. After playing with it for a while I think it's done except for vocals which I'll probably record on Thursday. So, I thought, what the hell, I might as well post it to Soundcloud. And, while I'm at it, I might as well post it here. Anyone who wants an honorary backing vocal credit can record themselves singing/saying "white light" and/or "white heat" and I'll throw it into the mix.
As of today I'm slightly more than halfway through my RPM album and the second half seems like it should be pretty much a breeze since all the leitmotifs should be done.
The latest update is that I'm 3/10ths of the way through the soundtrack. I'll be there for minutes long before I get all the tracks down (especially after this weekend), but what I'm happier about is that I got 3 new leitmotifs in that I'll be using later in the game (for Blomkvist, Harriet & Vangar, respectively, all neatly packaged in a 3 minute intro song called "Incentive"). The video below, however, is me working on the second song on Friday and Saturday. That one was originally slated to be three separate tracks -- so if we're going by numbers, I've actually got 5 of 12 -- but I decided to combine them into one epic piece that is roughly split into three inter-relating movements. I'm planning on releasing the last bit as a "radio edit" because I like it so much. The 3-part series deals with the 2 sexual attacks on Lisbeth and her subsequent revenge, so I use a couple of leitmotifs for Bjurman (her guardian and assailant) which return in the last bit, altered. I also have an instrument in the last movement which is meant to represent a tattoo needle.
So it's going along fairly well. I looked at the calendar and if I'm only making music on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and get one track done each day, I'll still have more than enough time to finish my RPM album. But I'm not strictly just recording on Friday - Sunday, so I'm hoping I'll be done early with some time leftover to do some collaborations if people get back to me. This is the first time I've shared my music in a less-than-finished form to Erin and she's been able to provide some critique that's been useful to the process. Some of it has just been echoing stuff I was already thinking, but she's also suggested some ideas I might not have got to on my own, so I'm pretty excited about that, also. All in all, I'm happy with this experiment this year and find myself moving into new, unexplored territory in composition and arranging. To the point that I'm actually using the words "composition" and "arrangement" and "movements". I mean, sheesh.
Finished my first track for RPM2011. I also got a Blind Chaos track done. So far, so good.
It's February 1. I'm going to make an album cover.
I have a track list. Now I just need to write the songs.
Oh, I also have an album title. Wasp. If you've watched my video blog posts (available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffcKbXwDuNo and here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKGHLYgH72M if you haven't), you know the plan is to write a soundtrack to a book. Said book is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Wasp refers to the same person the title of the book refers to, and since I plan on focusing on her to be the central character of the album, it was only fitting to name the album after her (and since naming the album The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo would be too obvious and naming it Lisbeth would be too boring, Wasp seemed like a good alternative). So, yes, track list:
We'll see in February which of these actually make it to the album. Hopefully all of them. The jury is still out whether I'll add lyrics/vocals to any of these...Video post will probably come tomorrow-ish with new updates about how my notes have grown...